Psi is a fascinating field to study, and so the research for my romantic thriller enthralled me every step of the way. I’d been interested in ESP phenomena since early adulthood. My cousin was a full-time, practicing psychic who claimed an approximately 85% accuracy rate in her readings. I’d had a number of experiences that proved to me that I was highly intuitive. But Psi is its own right is fascinating because it calls so many basic beliefs, scientific and otherwise, into question.
Researchers of Psi divide psychic phenomena into several primary areas, and then tend to pick one on which to focus their study. Those areas of research and testing are: Telepathy, the study of mind-to-mind communication; Precognition, the transfer of knowledge about future events that cannot be inferred through any known way; Clairvoyance, studying the transfer of information about faraway places without using the normal senses; Psychokinesis, the mental interaction with material items, whether animate or inanimate; and Biological psychokinesis, the mental interaction with living systems (for example, healing from a distance or the communication with living creatures of different species).
In THE DELPHI BLOODLINE, my heroine Athena Butler, the modern-day descendant of the powerful and ancient Delphi bloodline, displays abilities of telepathy, clairvoyance and biological psychokinesis. Her mother and grandmother all show similar abilities, as does the mother of the hero, Kas Skoros. They are heirs to the bloodline, women whose ancestry can be traced back to the clairvoyant and healing priestesses of ancient Greece. The problem in my story is that a ruthless tycoon finds out about the bloodline and wants to exploit and if necessary enslave them. To stay free and alive, they must turn vigilant and use all their talents to trap the mastermind’s minions—and try to ensnare the mastermind as well.
Until recent decades, many psychologists and psychiatrists viewed psi with skepticism. Today, the field is open to the connections between psi and psychology, neuroscience and physics. Many top-notch, international academic institutions, such as Cambridge, Princeton, the University of Virginia and SRI (Stanford Research Institute), have psi labs. The same natural laws that apply to physics and other sciences also apply to psi. It can be tested in the lab and has been for decades, the results of which gave rise to the Department of Defense’s Stargate Program.
Many scientists agree that psi might actually be a type of mental process or state, such as memory, learning or consciousness. The psychic women in THE DELPHI BLOODLINE exemplify the extraordinary mental processes that science labs all over the world are now studying.
Present day descendants of the ancient, psychically powerful Delphi bloodline face the threat of extinction when an evil tycoon hunts them for his own nefarious intent, a global spy network.
When artist Athena Butler, the modern-day descendant of a powerful, ancient bloodline of psychic women, realizes she’s the target of mysterious and dangerous kidnappers, she gets help from strange sources—the spirit of an ancient ancestor and a handsome man who claims to be one of her bloodline’s Guardians. Her mental powers and his brawny skills keep them one step ahead of the mastermind behind these kidnappers. Until the time when an FBI task force decides to use Athena as bait.
Pyramid Valley, Nevada
Athena Butler’s eyes blinked open and she sat up.
Coming back from The Flow was always jolting. Emerging from the stream of spirits was like a water skier lurching out of the water, pulled by a strong, invisible force. The mind caught up later to the body as if it required a rough snap to break free.
Likewise, to go there was like jumping out of a plane and feeling the air rush to your face, your limbs weightless and wobbly. Most of the time, it was a joy to enter this world of unseen spirits. Athena welcomed her visits, especially at night when she found herself invariably alone.
When she was a child, she’d often emerge from The Flow with a fearful whimper and a cry. She’d wept and wanted to stay in The Flow. Now, at twenty-six, Athena had grown accustomed to her mental flights. They were no longer fear-inducing for she understood their purpose. But her exits were still mind-wrenching and she often lay in bed afterwards, disoriented.
This morning, fear clutched her heart and she could barely breathe. With a trembling hand, she reached for her phone.
Breathless, she raked her other hand through her hair and kicked her legs over the side of the bed. Six AM, Nevada time. She punched her mother’s mobile numbers. It was nine o’clock in D.C.
“Thank God, Mama! Where are you?”
“I’m in Baltimore, near the—.”
“Mama, I had a dream about you. A Flow Dream. The spirits—they want me to warn you! Whatever you’re doing right now, get off the streets. Go home and lock the door. Call the police!”
Her heart felt like a ticking bomb in her chest. Athena could barely speak. But her mother knew her and understood her Flow dreams. They were seldom wrong though sometimes a little off in timing. Today, a threat was imminent. She knew it.
“Slow down, Thena. Take a deep breath and tell me slowly about your dream. I don’t doubt you but we must be able to interpret it correctly. You know how these Flow Dreams are. Sometimes the symbolism is strange and difficult to interpret.”
“Okay—just go home and lock the door. Now, Mama!”
Athena had to swallow hard and take big gulps of air in order to speak. Losing her mother was unthinkable. She’d already lost her father, and in a way, her brother.
“Where are you, Mama?”
She inhaled and counted to five. Her mother wasn’t in Georgetown, where she lived with her second husband. Athena sensed water nearby, a large body of water. Her mind jumped ahead. The body of water in her terrifying dream was vast, a bay leading to the ocean. The Baltimore harbor—of course!
“Near downtown Baltimore. I’m heading toward a section of the city where I believe a little girl’s body was hidden. The police need the evidence from that location. They think she was hidden somewhere, killed and then a day or two later dumped into the bay. I think I’ve found the monster’s hideout.”
“I had a session with the homicide detective last night. I handled a few articles of the poor child’s clothing, what she was wearing when they found her. I got some visions so I drove up here to pinpoint the location. It’s not in a very nice part of town but I thought I’d drive around, and then call Detective Bonner when I got something.”
Athena groaned. Her mother was at it again. Getting involved with homicide cases and trying to use her powers to bring killers to justice.
“Mama, get out of there, please! Go home—”
“I’ve had no sense of this danger, Athena, not to me personally,” her mother said. “Listen, we must talk soon. There are other dangers that I’ve seen…but don’t fret, my car doors are locked, I’m driving my big SUV. I’m in traffic, so relax.”
“Maybe you’re too focused on that homicide case,” Athena stressed. Her mother had no idea the danger she was putting herself in. First-hand experience had taught Athena that working with the cops was a dangerous business. Let them do their work and solve their own cases.
I’m done with all that.
Her mind darted back to the vision in her dream. She took a deep breath and steadied her voice.
“I saw you in your car, Mama. You stopped to get out. A black car pulled in front of you and another one—a long white one—blocked you in back. There was a woman driving the car in front and she was with men who had guns. Someone grabbed you and carried you to the white car. I could smell salt water and then they took you away. Some place far away. And then I was in the mountains, the Sierras, searching for you.”
Athena bent over, clutching the cell phone, her lifeline to the one person she loved most in the world. Her stomach cramped into a hard ball.
There was silence. “Mama, go home,” she repeated.
“Okay, Thena, I’m turning back toward the freeway. The harbor shops are on my left. Remember that eight-sided tower, the one with a great view of the harbor and breakwater. The octogon tower. You remember going there on your last visit here, don’t you?”
More silence followed then as an image sprang to Athena’s mind. Yes, they’d had lunch there…
Her mother gasped loudly. A screech of brakes, metal crunching, glass breaking. Her mother cursing a blue streak in her native Italian.
“What happened, Mama? Are you all right?”
“Yes, dear. Just a stupid fender bender. Merda! Daniel’s going to throw a fit. My second one this year! I’m getting so distracted with these cases—not paying attention to what I’m doing. I swear this car pulled right in front of me, cut me off. It’s not my fault this time.”
More angry muttering followed.
“Dio, I really smashed up that rear end! Thena, I’ll call you right back as soon as I exchange insurance information with the driver. Be right back, Thena.”
“Mama, don’t get out of the—”
The line went dead. With a cry, Athena sank to her knees on the cold, tile floor. Shivers of dread rippled through her. Her mind went numb with panic.
For God’s sake…Think! Get help!
My pen name is Donna Del Oro and I live in Northern California near the Sierra Nevada foothills and Folsom Lake. After retiring from high school teaching, I decided life was too short to waste. Thus, began a journey doing what I'd been wanting to do for many years--write fiction. I sold my first novel, OPERATION FAMILIA, right away and this book went on to win an award for the Best 2010 Latino Books into Movies Award. Following that first sale, I published three more women's fiction books, then branched out into writing my first love, romantic thrillers. This year, 2012, saw the launch of A BODYGUARD OF LIES and THE DELPHI BLOODLINE, both ebooks and available on Kindle, Nook, Apple, and elsewhere. If you have read any of my books, I welcome your input. Leave me a review on Amazon and your name goes into a pile for a $50 gift card at B&N, my favorite bookstore. You can email me: email@example.com.